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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #1 
Some times I think we take this art called mentalism way to seriously. A lot, not everybody, at the green place has a sort an elitist attitude towards the other forms of the art of magic.

Mentalism should be fun.

I remember as a kid in the 70's watching Kreskin on the Johnny Carson show, before he would do an effect he would get the audience laughing with his crazy like personality, only then he would get serious with an effect. Kreskin is/was one of the biggest names in mentalism, he was on all the talk shows like Merv Griffen, Mike Douglass, Tom Synder etc.

Look at Max Maven when he first came out with that whole "look", but it was him being "aloof" that hurt him in the beginning . Today he's not like that and he probably learned the hard way not to be so serious.

Chill out people.

What do you guys think? In your opinion do most mentalist's look down on others ie card & coin workers etc.

Best,



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Chris M

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Reply with quote  #2 
At the green monster a number seem to. No idea if that's reflective of mentalists in general.
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Paul Hallas

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan Five

What do you guys think? In your opinion do most mentalist's look down on others ie card & coin workers etc.



I don't think so. Some do, some don't. But attitudes work both ways, prior to the last decade most magicians thought mentalists were boring. 

Most early mentalism read dry, but seeing "good' mentalists live (usually not at the local magic club) even way back when, they had humorous remarks along the way. Being "THE GREAT I AM" rarely wins people other for magicians or mentalists. 

Some magicians look down on other magicians. 
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #4 
Oh, I don't know... Isn't it just a function of people being people rather than magicians knocking mentalists? I perform mentalism effects as well as card tricks and general magic. There's room for all and more in our community. 

Personally I find the more lighthearted and whimsical mentalists more entertaining than those who (appear) to take themselves too seriously. In that sense I agree with your basic premise, Logan, that mentalism should be fun, but I'd take it a step further and say that it should be entertaining. As should general magic and cards tricks.

As to the green place, I have never posted there, finding the general attitude of the community to feel to me elitist and exclusive. I much prefer the slower pace and conviviality of this forum where the dress is casual, the mood accepting, and the overall feeling welcoming and encouraging. Naturally, YMMV over there.
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Chris M

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Reply with quote  #5 
It's true that in any community some sub-groups will think the worse of other sub-groups.

Regarding what people find fun/entertaining I guess tastes vary massively [smile]. I find a lot of mentalism too slow and wordy for my tastes, but then I find a lot of magic too slow also. Same for bizarre magic.
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Nathan_himself

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Reply with quote  #6 
I think that many mentalists take themselves way too serious. Not just within the community, but with their audiences as well. I love mentalism and it's typically the only thing I learn and perform. That being said, I will always have massive love in my heart for magic. The skill and dedication it takes to be a magician is just as high as it takes to be a mentalist. 

I believe there is a general feeling of elitism, but that is found in any community. That is just ego an can be forgiven. Like Anthony mentioned, this community seems to be more accepting and welcoming. 

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ZAVIADELITA

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Reply with quote  #7 
I think most of the early mentalists were serious I never saw Alaxander tell a joke. Add in some humor I think is good most audiences likes to laugh.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #8 
My mind reader show is fun and doesn't take itself too seriously. But it is kind of like being in a Twilight Zone episode by the end of it.
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Blathermist

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Reply with quote  #9 

On the one hand I agree with the term "sub-groups," but at the same time it’s not encompassing enough. It’s simply human nature to pal up with like-minded folks. This automatically creates an exclusion zone, though usually the zone is far from exclusive, and not usually elitist.

Sometimes this "bonding" (hate the word) is simply personal: "We get on well," for example. No reason, that’s just how it is.

Just as often it’s a shared interest; sport, photography, gardening, stamp collecting, Magic. Inside every one are umpteen varieties of the same fruit. Inside Magic, we get, to name just two, Mentalism, coins, kids, illusions, whatever. Such categories have been known to create an air of festering elitism and snobbery. It’s the way of the world.

As that great philosopher Jerome Seinfeld put it: "People. They’re the worst."

And as that other great philosopher, my old friend, Spokeshave put it: "They’re also the best".

As for "Fun". Of course Magic should be fun. After all, that’s what mentalism is: Magic. Serious? What’s that?

"It is a curious fact that the worst work is always done with the best intentions, and that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously."

Oscar Wilde.

This post was last seen on the Gemstones thread. How it got there I have no idea.

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Lemniscate

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Reply with quote  #10 
Interesting discussion with a lot of different questions.

Does "Group A" consider itself superior to "Group B"?
In terms of populations, absolutely.  Sociological studies will show this trend (across populations, not individuals) for all of recorded history.  And even in animals, insects, etc.  Ethical considerations enter this discussion when one discusses whether human beings should be able to rise above this (I believe they CAN but it's work).  As such, don't take it personally, people are going to be people.

Now there is a question about seriousness.
This is a much more difficult question to answer.  Much of it might be personal taste.  I, personally, think most magicians tell really bad jokes, either because they don't realize they are bad or because they use the groan as an off-beat to accomplish something.  That is not me, will never be me, and I have a hard time even enjoying those performances.  Note: for the most part, the performances are great, I just don't appreciate bad jokes the way others do.  So, for me, I am never going to be a comedy mentalist.  Although performers, like Danny Archer, can be absolutely hilarious.

For me, I prefer a concept of, and I've never posted this on the green place so this might be hard to explain... I prefer a concept of cooperation to achieve something amazing.  We are working together to see if something impossible can be accomplished.  There is natural humor in this sort of situation of course, but no standard hack magician jokes, if that makes sense.
The benefit to this approach is that when the effects are successful, everyone is engaged in the result, we all win.  It's not a situation where I am proving the things I can do, instead it's "look what we can all accomplish together."  The entire idea is centered  (and I say this, in so many words) around "fun" and "a feeling of amazement" that everyone can enjoy.  This is how I develop my performance character, somebody who can do amazing things but needs willing participants.
If you start thinking about it, it allows for so much: you basically tell your audience that you need rapport to be successful, if anything doesn't work (or you have a difficult participant) you can simply dismiss them while staying congruous with your underlying theme, you have a built in rationale why you can't win the lottery or read random thoughts people don't want you too, and so on.
I enjoy my approach immensely and haven't seen anyone do anything too similar (maybe it sounds similar to some performers, but having done this for decades, that would be because I didn't explain it well enough).

Now, that is how I establish myself and belief in what I can do (even if it is just transitive, "suspension of belief" type belief).  Others do it by being "SERIOUS" and that's fine, but that is just how they think they need to establish themselves as performers.  I'd probably rather do that than try to be a (bad) comedy mentalist personally, but neither fits "me" personally.  Those types of performers rely on their "prestige" (to steal a Darwin Ortiz idea) and "force of character" to establish a hierarchy so people will listen to them.  And, for those types of performers, if they are too flippant, then participants will mess with them, because "if it is supposed to be fun, let's have fun!"  So those people who are serious, soon learn they need to be VERY SERIOUS or they might get burned.  It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy really.
So I guess cut them a break?  I don't know, I am just thinking out loud.  I'll stop now.

Best,
Lem
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #11 
Jared Kopf has some excellent and off beat thinking on the (his) relationship with the audience. I saw his show at the Chicago Magic Lounge a few weeks back and attended his magicians only session after the show. It was really cool. Quite thought provoking.

Mike
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